The Dodge Dart is back after 36 years. Chrysler revealed the revived version of the car on Monday, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIA) in Detroit.
The company had ceased production of the variant back in 1976. The decision to bring it back, in a sleek and space-aged avatar, is reportedly to engage the interests of buyers looking for low-cost, fuel-efficient cars.
Chrysler, owned by Italian automotive giants Fiat SpA and under the Italian's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sergio Marchionne, has been performing reasonably well... in terms of producing vehicles such as the Dodge Durango, the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge minivans. The company, however, felt it needed a good compact sedan to tap a market that accounts for more than 15 percent of the entire automobile market.
The 2013 Dodge Dart has been lavishly designed. Unlike previous models, which had plastic interiors, the new one has a softer and more aesthetically pleasing dashboard that is more in keeping with those usually found in luxury cars; for example, it offers switches to electronically open and close air vents. According to Chrysler, the Dart will provide the most shoulder, rear-seat legroom and hip room in its class.
Under the hood, the Dart has borrowed the frame and suspension of the crisp-handling Alfa Romeo hatchback brought over by Fiat. Furthermore, the Dodge Dart re-defines performance... by providing the most diverse power-train lineup in its class. Buyers can choose from a new 16-valve 2.0L (160 hp) Tigershark, a 16-valve 1.4L (160 hp & 184 lb-ft torque) MultiAir Intercooled Turbo and a new 16-valve 2.4L (184 hp) Tigershark MultiAir four-cylinder engine. The company claims some versions will get 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
The car is priced at $15,995 and above and will enter the market in the second quarter of 2012.
According to a statement released by the company, it hopes to make up for initial revenue losses incurred by under-pricing base models by targeting sales of feature-fitted versions.
I'd be lying to you if I told you I was making money with a car that's that capable at that price, you start shopping there, and by the time I finish, maybe you came up (in price), Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said.
Check out some photographs of the interiors and profile of the new Dodge Dart...